As part of their efforts to reach out to the Belgian business community, a Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) delegation headed by its Director General, Hamad Buamim, met several Belgian chamber officials in the presence of Sulaiman Hamed Al Mazroui, UAE Ambassador to Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and European Union, during their recent visit to Brussels. Al Mazroui, who facilitated and hosted the meeting, invited top officials of the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce including Antwerp-Waasland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and West-Flanders Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to discuss cooperation in the areas of diamonds, ICT and renewable energy sectors. The Director General of Dubai Chamber stated that Belgium’s geographic location as the gateway to larger European Union markets and Dubai’s status as an East meets West destination provide easy access to the African and Asian markets and potential for both the sides to work in various areas of common interests and to seek ways to enhance their bilateral relations. Buamim called upon Belgian businesses to benefit from the lucrative investment environment offered by Dubai which he said is one of the largest export markets and a leading centre of global business in the Middle East. He also stressed that Dubai’s non-oil trade with Belgium during the first 10 months of last year amounted to Dhs21.8 billion, out of which the share of Dubai’s exports and re-exports stood at Dhs11.6 billion as the country ranked 13th on the list of Dubai’s top trading partners while there are 114 Belgian companies registered with Dubai Chamber and operating in Dubai. Buamim further informed that Dubai Chamber members’ exports and re-exports to Belgium increased by 60.5 per cent in 2011 to reach Dhs195 million compared to Dhs121.4 million in 2010, stating that Dubai Chamber exerts all its efforts to provide access to lucrative markets to its members while enhancing their competitiveness globally. The Director General of Dubai Chamber expressed his thanks and lauded the efforts of the UAE Ambassador to Belgium in arranging the meeting and expressed his commitment to working closely with the Embassy to reach out to the business community in Belgium. The support of the UAE Embassy will go a long way in enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai businesses while cementing their relationship with the European Union, he said. The UAE Ambassador to Belgium stressed on the importance of the trade partnership between Dubai and Belgium chambers, which he said will directly contribute to consolidating trade ties and enhanced investment between the UAE and Belgium. On their part, the representatives of Belgium’s top Chambers lauded the role of Dubai Chamber in visiting their country and hosting the Belgian delegations from the Antwerp-Waasland and West-Flanders Chambers in the Emirate in the past and agreed on working closely with both the UAE Embassy in Belgium and Dubai Chamber to enhance bilateral ties between the two countries. The Belgian officials also expressed their interest in exploring Dubai’s investment opportunities as they praised the Emirate’s economic growth and the trade, tourism and infrastructure facilities it offered to overseas investors.